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This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Hammon, John

by Lawrence S. Thompson, 1988

29 Jan. 1760–1868

John Hammon, second-to-the-last Revolutionary War veteran to die, was born in Goochland County, Va. He was the son of James Hammon[d], who died in 1763, and Mary Hargis Hammon, who later married John Holbrook of Goochland County. In 1774, his uncle, William Hammon, moved to Wilkes County, N.C., apparently with the other members of the Holbrook and Hammon families, and became minister of the Roaring River Baptist Church.

In January 1777, John Hammon enlisted in the North Carolina militia under the command of Captain (later Colonel) Benjamin Cleveland of Wilkes County to fight the Tories and also the Indians in the west. He was at Kings Mountain and served to the end of the Revolution with the Wilkes County unit.

Almost immediately after the war ended, Hammon's mother died, and he moved to Kentucky, stopping by Charlottesville, Va., to sell a 319-acre farm. He settled near Bryan's Station (on the outskirts of present-day Lexington) and participated in the action against the Indians there. He also was present at the disaster of Blue Licks in August 1782. Subsequently he marched with Colonel Benjamin Logan on the punitive Miami River Expedition against the Ohio Shawnee towns.

The petition to the Virginia General Assembly of October 1788 for separation from the old Commonwealth was signed by John, James, and Edmund Hammon. John married about this time and settled in that part of Scott County, Ky., which became Owen in 1819. His last military experience was in 1794, as a captain, under "Mad Anthony" Wayne at Fallen Timbers. After the death of his first wife, he married Mildred Ann Morgan, daughter of Major Charles Morgan, also from Wilkes County, N.C. In all, Hammon had twenty-two children.

In 1822 he moved to Cincinnati, barely forty miles north of his Owen County home. There he and his sons contracted to build "steamboat Gothic" superstructures for river steamers. He must have been a citizen of some stature, for he numbered among his acquaintances William Henry Harrison, Vice-President Richard Mentor Johnson, and Congressman Robert Todd Lytle. Hammon never gave up his membership in the Mussel Shoals Baptist Church in Owen County and was said to have commuted regularly by horseback to the old home place on weekends. He was last listed in the Cincinnati directory in 1843 and probably returned to Owen County at that time. He lived with his daughter Lucinda (Mrs. Zachariah Holbrook) until he died at the extreme age of 108, the penultimate Revolutionary soldier to die.


Deposition of John Hammon (Archives, Veterans Administration, Washington, D.C.).

Stratton Owen Hammon, The Saga of John Hammon, Revolutionary War Hero and Owen County, Kentucky, Pioneer (1979).

Robert Todd Lytle Papers (Cincinnati Historical Society, Cincinnati, Ohio).

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